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Fastest x8 AGP motherboard available today?

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October 3, 2005 11:10:47 AM

Hi

I recently bought a Radeon X800 XT PE AGP vid card, but it would seem, my XP3200+ 400 mhz FSB CPU is a bottleneck.

Can anyone recommend the best/fastest/stablest mobo that I can run up 64bit CPUs on.
Also will my DDR400 GEIL dual channel memory be ok to use?

I currently use an MSI K7N2 NF2 mobo that have been very happy with. But want to squeeze all that I can out of the card on x8agp, without overclocking.

Thanks

Vin
October 3, 2005 2:59:19 PM

Any decent Nforce3 250 board will do what you want.

If you want a relatively 'no frills' board, you could do a lot worse than my one - an Epox 9NDA3J.

Your memory should be re-usable, but how much memory do you have? Your CPU shouldn't bottleneck your system <i>that</i> much... What makes you think it is?

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October 3, 2005 3:16:15 PM

What makes me think it is, is 3dMark01 score, 19826. Was only 4k up on a Rad 9700 Pro with the X800 XT PE.

03 score was MUCH better, 11,700 over what was 4-5k when last tried on R9700 pro.

But real world gaming, Battlefield 2 gets a bit jerky at times, and Im sure thats CPU, especially at spawn and when dying, and loading.

The a64 chips are meant to be a vast improvement for gaming right?
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October 3, 2005 3:38:07 PM

Battlefield2 is a REAL memory hog.

Sounds more like some more RAM would suit your needs...

3dMark01 is much more of a 'whole system' test than the others, so a >20% improvement from the gfx card is probably reasonable. The later 3dmarks are much more graphics card tests, so it's not suprising those showed a larger improvement.

BF2 can choke a little in the same situations on my rig, which is a 2.5Ghz A64 (overclocked 3200+) with a 6800GT, so I think you'd be overall a bit dissapointed. If you have anything less than 1Gb of RAM you should get more, but BF2 will happily use 1.5 - 2Gb apparently.

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October 3, 2005 3:55:55 PM

depends how you gauge disappointment.

If I got a 15k 03 score, would be happy. Likely?

Memory, an FPS requiring 1.5gb to 2gb, really..... you sure? 1gb is still a sizeable chunk of memory. Also if I add more, I lose the dual channel unless replace with 2 x 1gb sticks of course.

I honestly would have thought a new card, 3 years newer than a R9700 pro, would have given more than 20% performance, considering the specs of the two, old and new.
October 3, 2005 9:18:28 PM

Wusy, how would I get a matching stick tho for 3 x 512mb?
October 3, 2005 10:08:29 PM

Not really 'An FPS' Just BF2 really. And think about it - The CPU is used <i>all the time</i>, from some of the graphics operations to Enemy AI and Physics of barrels, particles, and vehicles. A graphics card doesn't know that a wheel can roll. It just knows how to draw one.

If the CPU was really the problem then it'll be constantly straining and going slow, not just here and there.

In BF2, when you spawn, suddenly the surroundings are a bit different to what they were a minute ago, you may have different weapons and the like. If it doesn't have these immediately in memory then it needs to load them from disk - that's slow. If it can't hold every single piece of information ever needed on the level (the map, all the textures, physics and vehicle information, etc) in memory at once, then it'll need to keep swapping out stuff it doesn't need right now to make room. This sounds like your problem.

All that said, 1Gb <i>is</i> still a sizeable chunk, but for one thing windows itself will always consume a little for itself (in fact it'll happily eat 300Mb+ at the desktop), and then you have how efficiently the game is written... Which in BF2's case I wouldn't say is that good. It'll probably get a lot better with patches - don't take my word for it, just do a quick google search for 'battlefield 2 RAM' or something and you should see plenty of confirmation.

You should be able to get a single 1Gb stick and run 2Gb in dual channel (2x512Mb in one channel, and 1x1Gb in the other), but I don't think there's any way to get 1.5Gb in dual channel with 3 Ram slots, although Dual channel really doesn't do a great deal for AMD systems anyway. (5% or so)

And don't worry about 3dmark. You're unlikely to hit 15K in '03 with that card. Check out the VGA charts on toms and you'll see. You'd gain only a few hundred points from an A64 system, a thousand at most probably, as it's so graphics-card oriented it simply doesn't really strain the rest of the system.

Sorry this got a bit long, but I get that way when I'm tired but awake like this... :eek: 

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October 3, 2005 10:10:34 PM

AFAIK 3x512Mb simply isn't do-able in dual channel. You get 1 slot for one channel, and 2 slots for the other, so you need to have the same physical amounts in each channel. It would be like having RAID 0 on two different sized disks... :eek: 

I used to run with 2x256 in one channel, and 1x512Mb in the other. It worked, but needed really slack timings.

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October 3, 2005 10:48:22 PM

Quote:
Same chip(not manufacture)

Huh? I always thought it would generally work provided the amounts are the same, but slacker timings are needed in the case of mis-matched chip <i>quality</i>...

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